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connecting passages,' are examples of straits to which our remarks will apply as well as to all similar waters in all parts of the globe.
These canals, made by the hand of God in his wise providence for the happiness of all men to facilitate commerce among distant nations, manifestly partake of the freedom of the seas, and all ships sailing thereon have a perfect right freely to pass from sea to sea thereon. The Sound is contiguous to Swedish and Danish territory, the Dardanelles, the Propontis or Sea of Marmora and the Bosphorus, are inclosed by the Ottoman terri. tory, but all these canals connecting seas are by the law of nature and the moral law of nations, open to the free passage of all vessels of every sort, except perhaps ships of war. (1st Azuni's M. L. 226 and 7.) If two nations own opposite sides of such canal, the maritime curtilage of each ought and of right extends to the distance of a marine league from the shore where the strait or canal is two leagues wide, and in places where it is less to the centre. The same rule applies whether one or many states own the adjacent shores, but this marine curtilage is in all cases subject to the paramount right of all merchant ships of all nations to pass freely, paying only reasonable tolls for lights, buoys and other artificial facilities of passage. So in passing ships
around the rapids of the St. Lawrence on ship canals now constructing by Britain upon a noble and magnificent plan, and upon the Welland canal around the falls of Niagara, reasonable tolls may rightfully be demanded of American vessels as well as British to remunerate the government for interest on their cost and expenses of repair and attendance. This exposition is sanctioned by right reason and sound morality.
The passage from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euxine by the treaty of Adrianople, between Russia and the Ottoman Porte was declared forever free to the merchant ships of Russia, and those of all nations at peace with the Porte. This treaty was made in 1829, and in 1830 a treaty between the Porte and the United States secured to the merchant ships of our Republic in perpetuity the free navigation of the Dardanelles, Sea of Marmora or Propontis and the Bosphorus. In the Russian treaty the Ottoman government engages that Russian vessels shall not be “subjected to any visit on board by the Ottoman authorities neither at sea nor in port;" that they shall enjoy *** full liberty of commerce and navigation of the Black Sea.” By the treaty the Porte also "solemnly declares that she will never throw any obstacle in its way, and promises never to permit herself to detain any vessel either Russian, or of any other
nation at peace with the Porte, in the passage of the Bosphorus or of the Dardanelles." Here is a solemn recognition of the principle, that straits connecting seas partake of their freedom, and are subject to the common use of all maritime nations, and of all merchant vessels of every State.
By Article 7th of the treaty between the United States and Great Britain made in 1842, called the Ashburton treaty, all the passes of the straits or rivers Detroit and St. Clair, connecting the Lakes Erie and Huron, are declared free to both parties. Here is an assent of the two most leading commercial nations of the globe to the doctrine that a common right to the use of seas draws after it a similar right in all straits connecting them. The free and common use of the St. Lawrence to both parties, to and from the ocean, seems to follow from the above cited precedents and from sound ethical principles. The application of these doctrines to the Sound leading into the Baltic is obvious, and it must be deemed free to all nations, We hold, therefore, as a principle of the moral law of nations, that all nations entitled to the common use of seas, have a perfect natural right to the same use of connecting straits.
SECTION SIXTEENTH. NAVIGABLE RIVERS AND STRAITS.
The application of these principles of freedom and equity secure to all nations bordering navigable rivers the right of free navigation to and from the sea.
Mr. Clay, as above quoted, proves this forcibly. Great Britain and the United States by the 8th Article of the treaty of 1783, declared, that, “ The navigation of the river Mississippi, from its source to the ocean, shall forever remain free and open to the subjects of Great Britain, and the citizens of the United States." At that time Spain owned Louisiana and both banks of the river from its mouths up to the 31st degree of north latitude. This is a clear recognition of this natural right of free navigation to all bordering nations.
The allied sovereigns at Vienna declared the same doctrine in favor of the nations bordering the Danube, the Rhine and other German rivers in 1815, as stated above by Mr. Secretary Clay. The right to all nations contiguous to navigable rivers to freely navigate to and from the sea is a natural right, thus solemnly admitted by the allied sovereigns of Europe and by the United States. It reposes upon the noble principle of equity, do as you would be done unto. Our doctrine of the right of free passage along the strait or river St.
Lawrence, and all other navigable straits connecting seas bordered by two or more nations is supported by the Abbe Galliani in his work Dei Doveri de Neutrali, lib. Ist, ch. 10th, s. 1st, quoted with approbation by Azuni in his Maritime Law, part 1st, ch. 2d, s. 17th. Azuni in his work part 1st, ch. 3d, art. 2d, affirms the same principles. It is a just, equal and equitable principle.
Having explained upon the principles of the moral law of nations, the extent and nature of a nation's territorial rights, maritime curtilage, and its interests in navigable rivers washing its soil, we now pass to the examination of the title of every state to the high seas beyond the line of demarkation, which we have described as the limit of internal jurisdiction.
The nature of the seas and oceans covering the larger portion of our globe, places them beyond the power of man and subject only to the control of the Almighty. The seas are his, the stormy winds and mountain waves obey no other Lord. When He arises in terrible majesty to shake the earth and sends abroad his roaring tempests over the seas, war fleets and the richly laden argossies of commerce are scattered like chaff before the wind or overwhelmed by the breaking up of the